Table of Contents
- Why are deadlines important?
- Deadline failure: main reasons
- Setting achievable deadlines: best practices
- Tech team time management: dos and don'ts
Has your tech team ever missed a deadline? Seeing the task overdue for days or weeks is one of the worst things. It means the tech team failed to organize their time as was required and now has a backlog.
What are the main pitfalls of the tech team deadline management, and what are the best practices for it?
Why are deadlines important?
- Help set priority
- Enhance creativity and motivation
- Help with over-editing and lingering
- Bring order and keep everyone within productive scopes
- Provide a much-needed understanding of goals
Deadlines make the project clear and the goal achievable. Setting them is a crucial part of success.
Deadline failure: main reasons
The task is constantly changed
Imagine a cook, whose recipe changes every 15 minutes. Will they be successful in putting a ready-to-eat dish on the table on time? Will it be tasty? Will the customers come back to their restaurant? We don’t think so.
The same happens to the software development project. If the requirements for the app, software, or a website functionality change, there will be delays. There will also be no guarantee the result will be successful, user-friendly, and popular. Constant changes lead to confusion and can influence the professionals’ motivation. This leads to failed deadlines and backlogs.
The team is left in the dark
Only 5.9% of businesses communicate goals to their teams daily. 60% of companies do not have a long-term strategy for their internal communication. Dysfunctional communication is cited as a reason for failed deadlines and ineffective collaboration by 86% of professionals.
Without clear and transparent communication, the teams will not meet the project’s deadlines and are likely to fail.
There is no clear goal
- What is the goal?
- Where will the end point be?
- What will the team accomplish and what for?
Understanding the clear and final answers to these questions is crucial for deadline management. Having no clear goal or end point makes the tasks confusing and deadlines optional.
There is no tracking system
There is an abundance of ways to track the project’s timeline:
- Gantt Charts — Monday.com, ClickUp.com, Ganttpto.com, wrike.com
- Kanban boards — asana.com, jira.com, ProjectManager.com, trello.com
- Calendars — Google Calendar (among many options)
- Activity logs — eventsentry.com, manageengine.com, atlassian.com
Research shows 82% of professionals do not use any time management systems and rely on lists or other DIY solutions. The same research says 25% of professionals use the “Do whatever is the most urgent right now” system that can be extremely counterproductive when it comes to meeting project deadlines and retaining quality.
Setting achievable deadlines: best practices
The goals should be SMART
- Specific — the project’s goals are more likely to be met in accordance with the deadline if they are specified and outlined.
- Measurable — there should be clear and understandable metrics that can be measured and fulfilled.
- Relevant — long- and short-term goals should coincide and be relevant to the project’s values.
- Time-based — every goal should have specific and realistic time-brackets.
Setting SMART goals and deadlines is the first step to meeting deadlines.
The timeframe should be realistic
Developing a concept, designing, coding, testing, releasing, and patching a mobile app in 3 weeks is simply impossible. It takes 3-4 months to develop an app. Take other stages into consideration, and it may add up to a year — from conceptualizing to releasing a working mobile app.
When setting project deadlines, be realistic and give the tech team a room to breathe, think, and be creative. This way, the final product will be of the highest quality and on time.
The team should communicate and understand the pitfalls
33% of professionals say a lack of open and honest communication results in low productivity and morale. It is also important that the team understand where they can come across difficulties right from the start. They will know where they should pull resources and overcome obstacles together, saving time, effort, and other resources.
Encourage your team to communicate and collaborate, especially on difficult tasks and during stressful periods.
Everyone should do what they do best
The right place at the right time — that is one of the key mottos of successful deadline adherence. Trying to make developers into managers and forcing your designers to oversee the process of front-end development is simply counterproductive.
Let everyone be at their best and do what they do best. Do not waste your time on unnecessary processes and training. You might simply not have any.
Look at the team as if it were a puzzle — one piece in the wrong place, and the whole thing doesn’t and will never work.
The stakeholders should be involved in the process
The project usually involves dozens of stakeholders:
- The CEO and the CTO of the tech company
- PM’s, BA’s, QA’s, etc.
- The Team Lead
- Developers, designers, tech writers, and so on
The entire team, including the C-suite managers, should be involved in the project, be in the know about the requirements, the deadlines, and the roadblocks.
Everyone should be working like a well-oiled machine. This will help resolve questions and issues fast and the deadlines will be met 100%.
Tech team time management: dos and don'ts
|Set realistic time frames and clear goals||Change the requirements too often|
|Encourage your team to communicate||Micromanage|
|Let everyone do what they do best||Interrupt the team’s established processes|
|Use progress tracking software||Leave the process unattended|
|Be sure of the project’s success||Question your every step|
Time tracking, clear goals, professional team, and involved stakeholders can only lead the project to one place — a successfully fulfilled deadline.
We at Outstaff Your Team know — one of our main responsibilities is to provide professionals who want to join an efficient tech team with a defined approach to estimates and deadline management.
Want your project to be finished on time? Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to help you.